Thomas Young Featured Writer

ThoughtSandwiches

Having been batted about by an, at best, indifferent economy these last few years, I have decided to embark on that bottom drawer dream I have always had…to write…and to make money for the effort. We shall see. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the journey as it has been a path too long deferred for simply fearing that first step.
I will be bringing an eclectic and polyglot-ish (yes, redundant) range of interests to these new tasks and, fortified by copious amounts of coffee, I shall attempts to exorcize those demons planted long ago by a caring English teacher who noted that, while the pilot-light appeared broken, there was at least a pilot-light. I hope you enjoy my scribbling.



The Break Up



A Personal Choice…

This hasn't been my longest relationship. Neither has it been my shortest. That’s the nature of relationships, I suppose. They end…with the ending rarely being as nice as the beginnings.
The butterflies of excitement that flutter into your life at the establishment of the relationship have, long since, been replaced by the frustrated flapping of moths trying to escape into any conceivable bright flame…regardless of the consequence…
In terms of longevity…the overall ‘tale of the tape’, as it were, on my marriage didn’t suck. We courted for a year, we lived in sin for a year, and then we got married. The blessed nuptials didn’t last a year.
In fact, I have bought deli meat that lasted longer than the actual marriage. Honestly. I was signing divorce paperwork while eating honey-baked ham purchased on our honeymoon. Honeymoon honey-baked ham…
This isn’t the relationship I am speaking of, however. I merely mention it as a commentary on the transitionary nature of relationships. And (I have to be honest) if affords me a rather unique opportunity to type, ‘honeymoon honey-baked ham,’ a goal that I had set for myself earlier this morning when I woke up…
No. This isn’t to be a rehash of those horrible months preceding the separation. Nor is it to be a review of the numerous complaints lodged and fought over for, seemingly, ad nausea.
No. After all…most of the complaints were hers…if she wishes to sully the good name of Thought Sandwiches in print…why…she can just join Hubpages.com and craft her own clever hub.
No. I’m not here to sling mud. That’s not my way. Besides…that all happened nine years ago. My current problem was sitting across the table from me…

A VNAF UH-1H Huey loaded with Vietnamese evacuees on the deck of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41) during Operation Frequent Wind, 29 April 1975.
A VNAF UH-1H Huey loaded with Vietnamese evacuees on the deck of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41) during Operation Frequent Wind, 29 April 1975.
A North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Logo.
A North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Logo.

Republican-chick…

They say that opposites attract…A good thing for a unique individual such as myself…for few would willingly admit to a similarity in thought processes as me. I don’t necessarily believe, however, that opposites stay together. Relationships are hard work. They are not all about jocularity and pockets full of pinochle decks…although they should be…
This problem of opposites is only exacerbated when my every random nonsensical comment (of which I am known for) becomes the subject of a long drawn out policy debate regarding this, that, and (very sinisterly), them…The art of casual banter was utterly lost on the girl.
“These nachos are good,” I said as I inched my way into the verbal minefield.
We were in a restaurant that we had frequented before. It was a family-owned Mexican place with good food and an ambience that fell somewhere in between romantic and not-romantic. She liked the food. I always found it odd that she could love the food…and hate the people. Still…there were no Canadian places in town…
Tonight I viewed the eatery as my extraction point. In military parlance…I was getting out and I expected the LZ to be hot…
I idly speculated on how this had come to pass as she expounded on how President Clinton’s NAFTA policy had totally upended the entire domestic nacho industry in the United States…
(Sigh…)
I actually did know how this sorry state of affairs had come to pass. I had just wanted to have some fun. Get laid…catch some movies…enjoy the occasional dinner…that’s all I was really looking for in this affair. I’m a simple person. The dynamics when we first met were suggestive of such an arrangement…
That simple fa├žade had cracked open on our last date…We were at her house sitting on the couch as the DVD was cuing up…

"Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution": Logo from the Second International Eugenics Conference, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields.[1]
"Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution": Logo from the Second International Eugenics Conference, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields.[1]

Fiery Political Oratory…about Oysters…?

I had a small percentage of my brain noodle-ing a writing problem…specifically, what would be the best way to pepper my next article with the word ‘oyster’ in it…for no apparent reason…while still maintaining the narrative integrity of the piece. An intellectual exercise really. It was within this context that I said the word ‘oyster’…out loud…
“Oh, I hate retarded babies,” were actually the first words that registered to me that she was speaking.
“Excuse me?” I asked as I, not only attempted to get on the same page as her…but tried to figure out which book she was looking at…
“You said oyster,” she launches into her latest diatribe, “That just got me thinking…oysters live in the water…so do salmon…salmon eggs are called roe…Row v. Wade. Abortion.” She took a deep breath before continuing…
“There are tests to determine whether a child is going to be retarded or not before they are born…if they are…I think they should be aborted.”
She finished matter-of factly as she grabbed up a Lay’s Ruffle from the bowl on the table and dipped it in the onion dip before taking a bite.
I was not only startled…but taken aback. The shear mental meandering required to get from ‘oysters’ to aborting retarded babies was mathematically…well…as mysterious and unknowable as…mathematics…
“Um…” I was at a loss for words. My libido was already heading to the car and he tended to do the majority of the thinking for us. “Um…wait…what?”
“Well it’s frightfully expensive to educate special needs children in the school system…” She began a fairly lengthy accounting of budgetary numbers versus the comparative educational dollar…blah…returned on the…blah…education of…blah…”It’s a matter…blah…of personal responsibility on blah the part of the parents. Why should I have to pay for them?” She (thankfully) finished.
“Um…wait…what?” I marshaled my thoughts on her couch as my libido sat in the car…impatiently sounding the horn every few moments… “But…you’re a Republican…? You’re not supposed to like abortion…” Yeah…weak presentation of rhetorical skills…again…I was taken aback…

Right to Deathers
Right to Deathers
Winning family of a Fitter Family contest stand outside of the Eugenics Building (where contestants register) at the Kansas Free Fair, in Topeka, KS
Winning family of a Fitter Family contest stand outside of the Eugenics Building (where contestants register) at the Kansas Free Fair, in Topeka, KS
"Death was my only public option"
"Death was my only public option"

Are you hearing this shit...?

She promptly moved in to clarify her position, in no uncertain terms, (as if a future political run for office would be held in the balance upon my misinterpretation of her views)…
”Oh…abortion is wrong. It is also wrong for these retarded babies to live like that. And wrong for these parents to think I should have to pay for it. Who would want these retarded babies?It’s just a matter of personal responsibility.”
She nodded as if that talking point had been nailed down tighter than the lid on an aborted child’s coffin. The unsavory smells of the Eugenics Movement began to fill her living room.
“I believe the parents would be wanting those babies,” I reasoned.“ After all…with these tests you speak of…they knew going in that that their child would be disadvantaged…they chose to make that loving commitment.”
“Exactly!” She seized on my statement. “They made the commitment. Not me. They should pay for any required extra services if they decide to have it.” There were bubbles of spit gathering in the corner of her mouth as she stoutly defends her position.
I had recently written a hard hitting piece of investigative journalism regarding the outrages committed in orphanages. That Pulitzer-possible article was at the front of my mind when I asked, “ What about orphan babies?”
“No problem. No parents.”
“But who would make these decisions? A death panel…”
Her mouth turned downward in disgust. The look on her face suggested that I had just told her that I wanted to conduct an unnatural sex act on her…which in her case would have been anything other than the missionary position…
“No!” She stated vehemently, “Sarah Palin told me that that was Obama’s plan! These would be called ‘Not Allowed to Live Panels’…”
Citing a suddenly explosive case of diarrhea…I left and joined libido in the car,
“What the fuck?” Asks libido.
“Right?!?”

Ford Model T Field Ambulance 1916 canvas on wood frame model used extensively by the British & French as well as the American Expeditionary Force in The Great War. Top speed 45mph from a 4 cylinder water cooled engine.
Ford Model T Field Ambulance 1916 canvas on wood frame model used extensively by the British & French as well as the American Expeditionary Force in The Great War. Top speed 45mph from a 4 cylinder water cooled engine.

Thank God for Caller ID….

I spent the intervening week treating her like a bill collector. A coffee meeting on Wednesday was simply blown off. Calls went unanswered and unreturned. I was being a dick. I didn’t want to deal with it. I exhibited all the male signs of immaturity in this regard. Until now…back at the Mexican restaurant…
“What happened to you on Wednesday,” she was asking me.
“Huh?” I delayed.
“We were supposed to get coffee,” she ventured, “You never even called.”
I reached down deep for a remembered dialogue sequence from the 1980s sit-com ‘Soap.’
“Yes, a truck-load of hogs overturned on the highway and backed-up traffic for miles. I think pig entrails interfere with cell-phone reception…I couldn’t get a signal…”
“Really?” She asked concerned.
“No.” I admitted.
“What…?”
“Yeah,” I blurted, “We’re done. I can’t hang with this anymore…I mean we can’t have a normal conversation without you citing public policy regulations and whatnot…yeah…we’re done.” I finished simply.
“But…but…I thought we were doing pretty well.”
“By what possible unit of measurement can you say that we were doing pretty well?”
“Well I would talk to you about important issues and you would listen and nod.”
“I was nodding off into a coma. And…not for nothing…you may wish to hone your ‘casual-banter’ skills. Not everything needs to be ‘Death penalty’ important.”
“With the proper application of death penalty protocols…” She stopped as I looked at her over my glasses.
“So,” I ask myself, “Do you want me to leave…or do you want to leave?”
When she doesn't respond, I reach forward and click the “un-follow” icon under the topic of ‘Politics and Social Issues’ on Hubpages and she disappeared from the other side of the table. The air became a little cleaner…weight became a little lighter…and food tasted a slight bit better…
The waitress came up to the table…
“Will the lady be returning?” She inquired politely.
I looked at her happily, “No…I don’t believe she will be.”
The waitress hesitated before saying, “She wasn’t very pleasant.” Encouraged by my nod, she continued, “We want you to know that nobody ever spit in your food…just hers. Would you like anything else?”
Pondering my options (and responsibilities) I asked, “Do you think you could manage an oyster-shooter?”
As she went to get my order I did the necessary math…that makes seven surreptitiously entries of the word oyster in this article. Well…eight surreptitiously entries of the word oyster…um…nine…